Why is Go Blue for Meso important?

Go Blue for Meso is all about lighting up your home, or contacting a prominent landmark in your local area to do the same. We want to put a spotlight on mesothelioma, a disease caused by exposure to asbestos that deserves more attention because asbestos hasn’t gone away:

It’s still in around 85% of schools, 90% of hospitals and many other public and private buildings.

More people die from exposure to asbestos than die in road traffic accidents per year.

Over 2,700 people per year are diagnosed with mesothelioma and it is a type of cancer that is entirely preventable.

Fewer than 10% of people with mesothelioma survive beyond 3 years in the UK

The majority die within 6 months of diagnosis – 60% within a year.

60% don’t survive more than a year (40% survive to one year)

The act of lighting up your home or focal point in a village, town or city is a way to raise awareness, to remember loved ones who have sadly died of mesothelioma and to acknowledge those living with the disease.

This year, we want to show the world that there is no more time to waste in raising awareness and taking action against this tough cancer. Go Blue for Meso will therefore be using Action Mesothelioma Day on the first Friday in July each year, to light up buildings around the UK, as it’s about time the disease gets the attention it deserves.

Where do I start?

We recommend first making a list of all the prominent landmarks and venues in your local area, including buildings, bridges, monuments, clock towers, churches and even roundabouts! Have a look at our gallery for inspiration on how buildings have been lit up in previous years, or how you can turn your own home blue in support of those affected by mesothelioma.

How should I approach a landmark or venue?

A phone call is always advisable, or check the website of the landmark (if it has one) for a suitable email address.

The best person to speak to will vary depending on the organisation, but customer services, the operations department or the publicity department is a good place to start, and they will be able to point you in the right direction. With smaller venues, it will probably be the manager you need to talk to.

We’ve developed a template email/letter which you can personalise by sharing your reason for taking part in the campaign and why it is so important to you.

You can also involve your local MP, here's a template letter to contact them. 

When should I approach a venue or landmark to ask them to light up?

As soon as possible!

As there are many other charity events throughout the year, landmarks will get a lot of requests to light up, not just in blue, but many other colours which represent different causes.

As well as prominent landmarks, consider approaching smaller local businesses such as local shops, hairdressers, or even the local chemist. Sometimes it’s just a case of asking.

Some landmarks will not be able to light up, such as listed buildings, those that have a partnership with one particular charity, or without wanting a fee.

How do I organise a light up at home?

You can be as creative as you would like when lighting up your home. Here are a few ideas:

  • Display indoor or outdoor blue lights
  • Dress your window in blue fairly lights
  • Use blue filters over outdoor spotlights
  • Light blue candles in a focal and safe place

 Consider involving your friends and neighbours and organise for your whole street to light up. Should the current coronavirus restrictions allow, safely organising a neighbourhood get together is a great way to engage your local community and raise awareness of mesothelioma.

The landmark I approached has agreed to light up, what should I do now?

That’s brilliant, well done!

Firstly, make sure you keep hold of the details of the contact at the landmark so that you can follow up with any questions. We advise staying in touch once approval has been secured in the run up to AMD.

Please also provide the details of your light up by filling out this form and we will add it to our Go Blue for Meso map.

If you have organised for the building to light up way in advance make sure you get in touch again nearer the time, just to ensure it is still fine to go ahead.

We've also produced a poster that you or the landmark can print out and display to tell people why it is lit up blue.

The landmark I approached is happy to light up, but there is a cost involved or I need to supply filters/gels, what should I do?

There are various ways landmarks light up blue, whether it is covering their existing lights with blue filters or gels or sometimes it is as simple as setting a timer as it is part of their in-built lighting system. Lights can be hard to get to, so sometimes there are also maintenance costs involved aside from the cost of the filters/gels.

If the landmark is unable to cover the costs, which is completely understandable, then you could see whether a local business would sponsor the light up, and you could thank them publicly via your local press or social media.

If you think you can cover the costs yourself, that’s fantastic! These companies: Stage Depot and White Light Ltd can provide you with information regarding installation and costs of filter/gels.

If it is very expensive, we recommend looking at alternatives in your area. You’d be surprised by how many places and different types of venues that would be willing to get involved.

Unfortunately, funding for gels/filters is not something mesothelioma charities are able to contribute to.

How can I promote the light up I have organised?

Promoting your light up on social media is a great way to further raise awareness of mesothelioma and the dangers of asbestos.

If the landmark has its own social media pages, tagging them in your post could significantly boost its reach. You can also keep an eye on their channels, on the day of the light up and share their posts on Action Mesothelioma Day itself.

Be sure to name your landmark, in addition to including some of this year’s campaign hashtags to have your voice heard in the mesothelioma community:

#actionmeso #GoBlueForMeso #mesothelioma

Here is a press release template you can adapt and send to your local media to get more publicity.

And a poster that you or the landmark can print out and display to tell people why it is lit up blue.

You could also contact your local MP to help, here's a template letter you can send them.

Can you help me publicise my light up?

Yes we can! There are various ways we can support you:

Once we’ve added the landmark to the Go Blue for meso map we will promote your light up on participating charities social media pages.

If you post your photos on social media, use #GoBlueForMeso, so we can share them with our followers.

What should I do on the night?

Making sure to follow the latest coronavirus advice and restrictions, it would be wonderful if you could attend the light up of your landmark and take a photo.

Or why not do a shout out on social media to see if any keen photographers in the area would be interested in going along to take a photograph for their own portfolio and would be happy to share it online? All participating charities would of course be happy to fully credit any photographers that are willing to support the cause.